Is a Two State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Still Possible?
Rev. Naim Ateek and Jeff Halper discuss how Israel's policy of apartheid in the West Bank and Gaza make a two-state solution unlikely and even impossible. The Rev. Dr. Naim Ateek is the founder and director of the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem. Halper is the founder of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. They spoke at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, on Monday, February 12th, 2007. The event was sponsored by the Council for the National Interest Foundation and the Washington Interfaith Alliance for Middle East Peace.
Filmed by Barry R. Student, Barry Electric Communications, Washington, DC.
July 11, 2014
Some Advice from the Buddha
Here are some passages from the Infinite Life Sutra and Shurangama Sutra that I think best addresses the roots of the Israeli Palestinian problem:
"Ananda, these are all beings that have finished paying back former debts and are born again in the human realm. They are involved in a beginningless scheme of karma and delusion and spend their lives killing and being killed by one another. They do not get to meet the Tathagata or hear the Proper Dharma. They just abide in the wearisome dust, passing through a repetitive cycle. Such people can truly be called pitiful." -Shurangama Sutra
"If one disagrees with others and grows angry, however small one's grudge and enmity may be in this life, these will increase in the life to come until they grow into a mass of hostility. For, if people are engaged in tormenting and harming each other in this life, such conflict may not immediately end in mutual destruction. But persistent bitterness and raging fury are impressed upon the mind, and thus naturally leave indelible marks on consciousness, so that those involved will be reborn about the same time to take revenge on each other."- Infinite Life Sutra
".......After death, driven by their karma, they fall into the three evil realms, where they suffer countless tortures and are themselves consigned to the flames."After a long time they are reborn again in this world, only to foment hatred against each other. At first hatred is slight but finally develops into a major evil. All this is because of their greedy attachment to wealth and sensuous pleasures and of their refusal to share with others. Further, wayward thoughts arise from the desires born of stupidity. Their bondage to evil passions will never be severed. In the pursuit of selfish gain, there is no chance for them to reflect on their evils and turn to good. When wealthy and prosperous, they are happy and do not learn to be modest and virtuous. Consequently, their pomp and power are short-lived; when these are exhausted, they must undergo further afflictions. Their sufferings are bound to increase in time to come."- Infinite Life Sutra
The solution offered by the sutras are as follows:
"If in the midst of this one controls one's thoughts with single-mindedness, does worthy deeds with proper demeanor, commits no evil, and performs only good, then with the merit and virtue acquired one reaches emancipation and is able to escape from this world, be reborn in heavenly realms and finally reach Nirvana. This is the second great good."- Infinite Life Sutra
The Buddha told Ananda, "All Buddhas, Tathagatas, speak words which are not false. There might be another person who had personally committed the Four Major Offenses and the Ten Parajikas so that, in an instant, he would have to pass through the Avichi Hells in this world and other worlds, until he had passed through all the Relentless Hells in the ten directions without exception. And yet, if he could explain this Dharma-door for even just the space of a thought to those in the Dharma-ending Age who have not yet studied it, his obstacles from offenses would be eradicated in response to that thought, and all the hells where he was to undergo suffering would become lands of peace and bliss. The blessings he would obtain would surpass those of the person previously mentioned by hundreds of thousands of millions of billions of times, indeed by so many times that no calculations or analogies could express it. Ananda, if living beings are able to recite this Sutra and uphold this mantra, I could not describe in endless kalpas how great the advantages will be. Rely on the teaching I have spoken. Cultivate in accord with it, and you will directly realize Bodhi without encountering demonic karma." -Shurangama Sutra
Link to full Sutras:
Infinite Life Sutra:
Shurangama Sutra with Excellent Commentary by Venerable Master Hsuan Hua:
Other recommend resources:
Online collection of Sutras and Confucian texts such as Liao Fan's Four lessons and Di Zi Gui:
The Buddha Educational Foundation:
This non profit organization distributes Dharma books (in numerous languages ) and related materials free of charge (includes free shipping to foreign address). The website also has ebooks and Dharma talks that can be downloaded.
Worldwide Directory of Amita Buddha Learning Societies:
This is a directory of all the Amita Buddha Societies/ learning institutions all over the world. It includes addresses and contact information of institutions in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, United States, Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil, Singapore, New Zealand, Spain, Argentina, France, Canada, United Kingdom and Thailand.
So if you can, you should visit one near you and there will usually be free classes and Dharma books and materials available for your benefit.
Also, below is the link to the online Dharma learning channels of the Ven. Master Chin Kung (highly recommended)
Biography and other Info: http://www.amtb.cn/e-bud/about/about.htm (English)